Dog & Cat Reforms
New laws for cat and dog owners have been introduced in South Australia. These changes are designed to improve dog and cat management and welfare, and are the result of years of planning and public consultation.
Compulsory Microchipping and Desexing
From 1 July 2018 it will be compulsory for all dogs and cats above a certain age to be microchipped and all dogs and cats after that date to be desexed. There will be certain exemptions for working dogs and registered breeders.
Microchipping is a safe and permanent way to identify your dog and cat. The procedure is quick, with no ongoing discomfort and can be carried out by a trained, authorised implanter.
Compulsory Breeder Registration
From 1 July 2018, anyone that breeds a dog or cat for sale or trade must register as a breeder with the Dog and Cat Management Board. The pre-registry form can be accessed on the Dog and Cat Board's website.
New Fines and Expiations from 1 July 2018
From 1 July 2018, many fines and expiations for irresponsible dog and cat owners will increase.
These tougher penalities, along with increased council powers to investigate and prosecute offenses, including the ability to seize evidence and compel owners to give their name and address, will help address the problem of dog attacks, and remind owners of their legal responsibilities. For further information please visit www.dogandcatboard.com.au/news/new-dog-and-cat-laws-handy-overview
New Rules and Powers
New rules will apply to breeders and sellers. There will be guidelines and industry standards that stipulate minumum welfare conditions. Council will have greater powers under the revised laws, including increases in some expiations and penalties.
DACO - a new way to register your dog and cat
Dog and cat registration, along with the way you manage your pet and cat management payments and information, replacing the 68 individual council systems and private microchip databases currently in place.
Changes to dog registration categories
As of 1st July 2018, dog registrations have been simplified. Your dog now falls under one of the following categories.
- Standard Dog - a dog that is both microchipped and desexed – concessions available
- Non-Standard Dog - All other dogs, including those with exemptions – concessions available
- Working Dog – a dog used primarily for the working, tending, or droving of livestock only
- Racing Greyhound – a greyhound used primarily for racing (must be registered with SAGRB)
Registration categories exist for Registered breeders who have an ABN, and accredited assistance dogs.
After Hours/On Call
Unfortunately dogs don’t stop wandering once the office doors close. Should you have a stray dog at your property, Council have an ‘after hours’ roster in place between 5:00pm and 8:00am.
Council will not attend any callouts to locate, seize, detain, impound, or release any dogs after hours, unless the dog is wandering at large and exhibiting signs of menacing aggression towards people; or the dog has been involved in a dog attack, and is still wandering at large; or the dog has been involved in a dog harassment incident, and is still wandering at large.
The after hours team will work with the caller to locate the dog's owner for them to retrieve the dog. If the owner can not be found, Council will attend to the dog during office hours Monday to Friday. It's important that dog owners ensure their dog's details are up to date to enable the dog to be retrieved as soon as possible.
Barking or other animal complaints can be made during office hours Monday to Friday.
After Hours Number: 8842 6434
Under the Dog & Cat Management Act, all dogs over the age of three months must be registered with Council. Dog registrations expire on 30th June and must be renewed upon received the renewal papers or by 31st August annually. Aside from the legislative requirement to register your dog, it’s extremely important that the dog & registered owner details are kept up to date, in the case that we need to contact you, or return your dog home. Dogs that have not been registered with Council before (regardless of their age) will not incur the typical registration fee for current registration cycle (this also applies to dogs that have transferred from another Council region).
Prescribed Breeds in South Australia
Whilst there are no banned breeds that can be owned in South Australia, there are five breeds of dog that are ‘Prescribed Breeds’ and have restrictions placed on them.
If you own one of these breeds it is important you know the additional legislative requirements that are associated with dogs of a prescribed breed:
- The dog must be desexed; and
- The dog, whilst not confined to it’s property must
- have a muzzle securely fitted; and
- be under effective control by physical restraint (on lead less than 2 meters); and
- It is an offence to sell, give away, or advertise for sale a dog of a prescribed breed.
Limitations on Number of Dogs
While Council does not currently have any Local Bylaws restricting the number of dogs that can be kept on one property, the Development Act does have limitations regarding the number of dogs that can be kept on a domestic premises with regard to intensive animal keeping. Similar controls exist regarding commercial kennels and dog boarding facilities.
For more information specific to your circumstances, please contact the Clare Office on (08) 8842 6400.
Fees & Charges
Please see the below fees and charges for dog registrations, impounding, and breaches of legislation:
|Dog Registration & Impounding|
|General Registration - No rebates claimed (Non-Standard Dog)||$60.00|
|Desexed + Microchipped (Standard Dog)||$30.00|
|Concession Registration - No Rebates claimed (Non-Standard Dog)||$30.00|
|Working Dog Registration - Flat Rate||$15.00|
|Business Registration - Flat Rate||$35.00|
|Greyhound Registration (SAGRB) - Flat Rate||$15.00|
|Guide, Hearing & Disability Dogs||$0.00|
|Transfer of Registration Fee||$0.00|
|Late Registration Fee after 1st September - per dog||$10.00|
Barking dogs produce a very unique challenge to Council as everyone’s tolerance for nuisance noise differs from person to person. Council’s barking dog procedure can be lengthy and onerous on the complainant, so in the first instance residents are always encouraged to speak with the dog owner prior to contacting Council, as usually the owner is not home when the barking occurs and unaware their dog is actually causing a nuisance.
Failing this approach, Council may be contacted to assist in resolving the barking nuisance; however this process can be lengthy and onerous on the complainant at times. It should also be noted that the outcome may not always be to the complete satisfaction of the complainant as nuisance noise can be subjective.
Note: Electric shock collars are illegal in South Australia and must not be used to control barking noise.
Dog Attacks & Prevention
After a dog attack, seeking medical or veterinary treatment should be a priority. Once safe to do so, a report should be made to the Clare, Riverton, or Saddleworth Council Office, or by contacting (08) 8842 6400, or (08) 8842 6434 if outside of regular ordinary office hours.
Like all serious incidents, time is a critical factor in dealing with dog attacks, especially if the offending dog is still wandering at large and posing a risk to the public or other animals. To assist Council , please try to include as much of the following in your report:
- Time, date, and location of the attack
- Description of the dog – size, breed, colour, markings, collar size and colour
- Owner description if present – name, address, contact details, gender, age, hair, etc
- If a car was involved and offender drove away with the dog – vehicle colour, make, registration, etc
- Description or photographs of any injuries sustained
We also recommend keeping copies of any medical certificates, and any vet or doctor bills as evidence.
Following the report of a dog attack, the following may occur:
- Council staff may take a statement or affidavit from you
- Photos may be taken of any injuries on the victim (person/animal)
- The dog’s owners may be contacted to get their side of the incident
- Council staff may seek statements from any witnesses
- Council staff will assess the circumstances and evidence and make a decision for action
- Council staff may issue any legal notices as required
- Council staff will inform parties of the outcome
Ultimately, you are responsible for your dog’s actions. It is an offence for a dog to attack, harass, or chase a person, another animal, or a bird owned by a person.
Depending on the circumstances, Councils can:
- Issue warnings
- Impose an on the spot fine/expiation - $315.00
- Take direction court action
- Impose a Control Order on the offending dog
- Maximum penalty for a dog attack is $2,500.
Dogs bite for many reasons. The most common occur out of fear, pain, or confusing when mixing other people with dogs. Ignoring signs of aggression can result in serious injury. You can discourage biting by:
- Socialising your dog from an early age so that is learns how to mix with other dogs and people in public
- Avoiding situations that may cause your dog to become nervous or anxious
- Training your dog – obedience classes help you learn about your dog, its body language and how you can communicate with it
- Desexing your dog – research shows that on average an entire dog is more aggressive. Note that desexing your dog will be mandatory (with exemptions) from 1st July 2018.
- Asking your vet for advice if your dog shows any signs of aggression towards people.
|33(1) (a)||Dog to be registered - over 3 months of age - if the dog is a dangerous dog or prescribed breed||$750.00|
|33(1) (b)||Dog to be registered - over 3 months of age - in any other case||$170.00|
|33(3) (a)||Continuing offence of being unregistered - if the dog is a dangerous dog or a dog of a prescribed breed||$750.00|
|33(3) (b)||Continuing offence of being unregistered - in any other case||$170.00|
|37(1)||Notifications to ensure accuracy of registers (Individuals) - Removed, Dies, Missing for 72 hours||$210.00|
|37(2)||Notifications to ensure accuracy of registers (Businesses) - Transfer business owner, cease operation of business etc.||$210.00|
|38||Transfer of ownership of dog, give new owners certificate of reg and disc||$210.00|
|42A(2) (a)||Dogs and cats to be microchipped - if the dog is a dog of a prescribed breed or an attack trained dog, guard or patrol dog||$750.00|
|42A(2) (b)||Dogs and cats to be microchipped - in any other case||$170.00|
|42B(1) (a)||Further offence for non-microchipped - if the dog is a dangerous dog or a dog of a prescribed breed||$750.00|
|42B(1) (b)||Further offence for non-microchipped - in any other case||$170.00|
|42C(2)||Dogs and cats to wear collar if exempt from microchipping||$170.00|
|42E(2) (a)||Certain dogs and cats to be desexed - if the dog is a dog of a prescribed breed||$750.00|
|42E(2) (b)||Certain dogs and cats to be desexed - in any other case||$170.00|
|42F(1) (a)||Further offences relating to 42E - if the dog is a dangerous dog or a dog of a prescribed breed||$750.00|
|42F(1) (b)||Further offences relating to 42E - in any other case||$315.00|
|43(1) (a)||Wandering at large - if the dog is a dangerous dog or a dog of a prescribed breed||$750.00|
|43(1) (b)||Wandering at large - in any other case||$210.00|
|44(2) (a)||Attacking/Harassing/Endangering - if the dog is a dangerous dog or a dog of a prescibed breed||$750.00|
|44(2) (b)||Attacking/Harassing/Endangering - in any other case||$315.00|
|45(1)||Transporting unrestrained dogs in vehicles||$210.00|
|45A(1) (a)||Attack a person lawfully entering premises - if the dog is a dangerous dog or a dog of a prescribed breed||$750.00|
|45A(1) (b)||Attack a person lawfully entering premises - in any other case||$315.00|
|45A(2) (a)||On school, kindergarten, child care centre or pre-school centre grounds - if the dog is a dangerous dog or a dog of a prescribed breed||$750.00|
|45A(2) (b)||On school, kindergarten, child care centre or pre-school centre grounds - in any other case||$315.00|
|45A(3) (a)||In a shop without permission of shopkeeper - if the dog is a dangerous dog or a dog of a prescribed breed||$750.00|
|45A(3) (b)||In a shop without permission of shopkeeper - in any other case||$315.00|
|45A(4) (a)||Rushes or chases a vehicle - if the dog is a dangerous dog or a dog of a prescribed breed||$750.00|
|45A(4) (b)||Rushes or chases a vehicle - in any other case||$315.00|
|64D||Notification to owner of dog or cat destroyed under this Part||$210.00|
|69||Offence for breeder to sell dogs and cats unless registered||$315.00|
|70(1)||Offence for breeder to sell dogs and cats without microchip||$315.00|
|70(2)||Offence for breeder to sell dogs and cats that have not been desexed||$315.00|
|71(1)||Certain information to be given to buyers in written notice of sale of dogs and cats||$315.00|
|71(2)||Certain information to be given to buyers in advertisement of sale of dogs and cats||$315.00|
|81B||Offence to interfere with identification of dog or cat||$315.00|